Extreme Makeover, Food Edition: Will The Jockey Club’s New Identity Make The Place Relevant Again?
Goodbye, Jockey Club. Hello, 2100 Prime. Owners of the longstanding restaurant on Embassy Row announced their decision to switch out the old staid name of the place for a more modern moniker this week. One telling reaction to the re-branding of the "grande dame" of the D.C. restaurant scene comes courtesy of Y&H alum and current Washingtonian food critic Todd Kliman. His response: "Wonder what Nancy Reagan thinks."
According to Washington Business Journal, the restaurant "had struggled to remain relevant in an era of more casual, modern restaurants. When the hotel got a multimillion-dollar facelift back in 2008, so did the restaurant (which also went through a few new chefs), but it never really caught on in popularity."
As described in PR materials, the newer branding scheme invokes all the right buzzwords in contemporary dining: "all-natural ingredients," "hormone-free meats," "fish that is not over-produced," "produce grown locally," "respect for farmers," and so forth.
And yet, the place isn't totally forgoing the nostalgia angle, either: the revamped fall menu nonetheless includes a section called "Memory Lane," offering up old staples such as lobster thermidor and Dover sole.
What do you think? Is a flashy new identity enough to convince you to reconsider the old Jock?
Logo courtesy of the Jockey Club—er, 2100 Prime